Message from Executive Director - September 24, 2018

Good morning, and I hope you all had a great weekend. The Mother Road car festival was in Springfield over the weekend, and if you like vintage cars, this was the place to be. Hundreds of classic vehicles were downtown for viewing, and it brings back many memories of the cars I knew as a kid.

There are a couple of pieces of legislation that Governor Rauner acted on that I would like to highlight today. HB 4392, an IPHA supported bill, was signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2019. This bill requires that IDPH make sure that every provider of mammography services provide patient notice if the mammogram demonstrates dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue can make it more challenging to see abnormal growths, and some studies indicate a higher risk of breast cancer.

SB 457 amended the Cottage Food Act, effective August 24, 2018, to allow expanded sales of products. This bill also allows certified local health departments the ability to require that canned products containing tomatoes be sent to a commercial lab for testing at the cottage food operators expense to verify the ph level. Other changes were made that relate to dairy, garlic in oil, canned food, and alcoholic beverages.

SB 2618 extended the Environmental Health License Act to 2019 and made changes to the law under which a license may be renewed, revoked or suspended.

IPHA was proud to be a sponsor of the Illinois Suicide Prevention Summit this past Friday. The day-long event focused on research concerning suicide in prison, gun safety, and suicide and screening risks and assessment. Suicide was one of the issues discussed in the research that IPHA conducted on gun violence.

At this time, I want to recognize the IPHA recipient of the President’s Award, Amanda Mehl, Boone County Public Health Administrator. Amanda was chosen for this award at the IPHA annual conference because of her leadership in coordinating the IPHA document on gun violence and safety. This research initiative will be made available to the members of IPHA and sent to policymakers across Illinois this fall. Thank you all for the time given to this project.

I want to thank IPHA staff member Walt Howe for working with our vaccine vendor, FFF, to make the MinibarRX smart refrigerator available to IPHA Vaccine Consortium members. This refrigerator is provided at no cost to consortium members and provides 24/7 temperature monitoring, inventory management, inventory tracking, and automatic inventory replenishment notification. The unit can store all Title 21 vaccines purchased through the consortium and even has an optional EMR integration capability. I want to thank FFF for working with IPHA to bring this new technology to our members. If you are interested in the refrigeration unit, contact Walt at whowe@ipha.com for information.

So, I have been dealing with this skin condition that no medical person could quite get a handle on. I had two biopsies done, and both are benign. I do however have underlying contact dermatitis so if you see me scratching uncontrollably, pay no attention. Why do I bring this up? Well, last Thursday I was leaving the doctor’s office at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago only to be confronted with a very pregnant woman in labor on the sidewalk. The phrase from Gone With the Wind came to mind that, I “don’t know nothin about birthin no babies.” I told her to hang on, and I ran to get the emergency room staff. It ended well, but I thought I would be in the emergency room next to her due to a panic attack. Hope Mom and baby are doing great.

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